M&A Buzz, Fischer Comments Lift Dow Jones Industrial Average Triple Digits

The Drugmaker That's Surged 2,000%

Aug 10, 2015 at 12:03 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is easily on pace to snap its longest losing streak since 2011, with the blue-chip barometer up triple digits at last check. Helping to stoke the bullish flames is the latest round of M&A activity -- particularly a multi-billion-dollar bid from the Oracle of Omaha, which has helped push Dow component Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) to a 2.9% lead -- and relatively dovish comments from Stanley Fischer. Specifically, the central bank's vice chair implied that a September rate hike may be unlikely, explaining the Fed may not want to "move before we see inflation as well as employment returning to more normal levels." Looking ahead, one more Fed official will be in focus this afternoon.


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Among the stocks with notable option volume is Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO), with the contracts changing hands at 33 times the average intraday pace. The equity has soared 22.8% to trade at $7.97 -- after announcing a multi-billion-dollar sale -- and speculators are drilling down on the security's front-month options. Specifically, eight of INO's 10 most active options reside in the August series, with the 9-strike call garnering the most attention.


One of the biggest advancers on the Nasdaq is Voltari Corp (NASDAQ:VLTC). The shares have popped 54% to $10.07, after the digital marketing specialist on Friday said it has entered into a $10 million loan agreement with Koala Holding -- an affiliate of Carl Icahn. Longer term, the security has jumped more than fourfold since Icahn unveiled a stake in the company in early April -- a fate this oil-and-gas issue most likely hopes to emulate.


One of the top gainers on the Big Board is Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE:PCP). The stock is up 19% at $230.88 -- but remains in the red on a year-to-date basis -- after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) agreed to buy the metal manufacturer for $235 per share, or about $37 billion.




The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.9 point, or 6.8%, at 12.48 -- and on track for its lowest close of the month.


Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 0.82, with calls outpacing puts. At last check, SPY is up 2.2 points, or 1.1%, at $210.18.


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